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Movie Review: “McCanick” Features a Dark and Powerful Performance by Cory Monteith

Before the young Glee star passed away last July, he had finished production on the buzzed about crime-drama mystery, McCanick, where Monteith hits close to home by playing a drug addict.  Fans of the late actor will enjoy a bitter-sweet performance, as Monteith is the best thing about this slow and slightly anticlimactic film.  And I’m not just saying this as a biased “Gleek.”

Detective Eugene “Mack” McCanick (David Morse) finds out that Simon Weeks (Cory Monteith), a young criminal, has been released from prison.  He sets off for a brutal manhunt along with his partner (Mike Vogel) who is in the dark about his intentions, and fails to get permission from the Chief of Police (Ciaran Hinds).   His paranoia of Weeks exposing a secret from his past causes Mack to lose all morality and respect for the law.  As he continues to search for Weeks, Mack leads his partner and himself down a dangerous and violent path.

I had hopes for this film given it was one of Monteith’s last.  Monteith’s performance didn’t fail me, but the story and execution did.  The beginning will intrigue audiences.  The mystery of why Simon Weeks was in prison and why Mack cares so much that he is out will keep the film barely alive for an hour and forty minutes.  There are a number of theories that will roll through your head as you watch.  But one by one, as those theories become improbable, you are left with complete confusion until the very end.  Sadly, once the secret is revealed, be prepared for disappointment and possibly even more confusion.

Morse does a decent job as the enraged detective hunting his prey.   It is his unknown motive and all his actions before catching Simon that make you lack care and empathy for his character.  He just comes off as a psychotic, dirty cop.  Although, if the goal was to have you sympathize with Monteith’s character as a lost, orphaned druggy that has seemingly changed his ways since prison, then mission accomplished.

McCanick is more of a character development film rather than a thought provoking, interesting story.  The past from both of the lead characters’ lives have molded who they are now.  We are shown flashbacks of the two before Weeks’ arrest, giving more insight as to who these characters were.

I would refrain from having high expectations of this film.  But for fans of Cory Monteith, McCanick will be a poignant reminder of how this rising talent passed on too soon; and that he was more than just Finn Hudson.

McCanick opens in theaters March 21.

McCanick Official HD Trailer

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